... that any damage to cultural property, irrespective of the people it belongs to, is a damage to the cultural heritage of all humanity, because every people contributes to the world’s culture ...
Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, 1954

Following the annexation of Crimea and the Russian war in the eastern Ukrainian Donbass at the latest, and even more so since the Russian invasion from 24 February 2022, the artist Maria Prymachenko (1909-1997) has become a symbol of the will for peace and Ukrainian identity.
Prymachenko is a representative of naïve art. Her gouaches are inspired by Ukrainian folk culture, and her pictorial creations take their roots in folk legends of her homeland. Fabulous fauna and flora appear in her colourful paintings. As a self-taught artist, Prymachenko, who came from a peasant background, quickly gained a certain prominence in her home region. Soon after, she was discovered by influential representatives of Ukrainian arts and crafts, who invited her to Kyiv. In 1937, some of her works are shown at the World Exhibition in Paris. Stricken by polio, the artist remained in her native village throughout her life, emphasising that she drew her inspiration from her dreams. In 1966, she was awarded the prestigious Taras Shevchenko Prize for outstanding works of Ukrainian art and culture. In addition to a large number of paintings, her oeuvre also includes embroidery and painted ceramics.


7 June > 3 September 2023